What Happened to Dru Hill?
Today we will take a look into another 90’s R&B group Dru Hill. But before we take a look at what Dru Hill is doing today, let us take you back to the beginning.
Dru Hill was a popular 90’s R&B group that was founded in Baltimore in 1992. The group started as R&B artists but individually expanded to other genres such as soul, hip hop soul and gospel music. The members of Dru Hill all worked for a local fudge factory called the Fudgery. They often sang to their customers while making fudge to keep them entertained. The group came up with their name from Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park, or also known as “Dru Hill” for short.
The first members of this group were Mark “Sisqo” Andrews, Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin, James “Woody Rock” Green and Larry “Jazz” Anthony.
Dru Hill released “We’re Not Making Love No More”, which was a number two R&B hit and number 13 pop hit that was on Soul Food’s movie soundtrack. This track was written and produced by Babyface in between their first and second album. They also recorded a remake to Carl Carlton’s 1981 hit “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” and this was the main single for the movie Def Jam’s How to Be A Player in 1997. Dru Hill helped produce and write for Mya and her first two singles “It’s All About Me” and “Movin’ On.”
In 1997 Dru Hill battled a lawsuit against Island Records and wanted a release from the label. Once the issue hit the media Reverend Jesse Jackson made some comments that helped the situation. Soon Dru Hill settled with Island Records and they remained on the label.
In 1998, they made their third Top 20 pop hit called “How Deep Is Your Love.” This song was featured on the Rush Hour movie soundtrack. The group's second album, Enter the Dru, had a single called “This Is What We Do” and featured rapper Method Man. This single helped set the tone for the album. Enter the Dru, featured another top 5 single “These are the Times'', which was co-written and co-produced by Babyface. This album sold two million copies by 1999. They released two successful albums with Island Records, which were Dru Hill and Enter the Dru, before a short separation from 1999 to 2002. During the separation Woody and Sisqo released solo albums. Matter of fact, Woody actually released a gospel album that had some success. Sisqo had two hit singles, “Thong Song” and “Incomplete.” His second album was not as successful though.
The next album, Dru World Order was released late, but finally happened in 2002. Dru Hill joined a new label now being a part of Def Soul record label. Once reunited they added a fifth member, Scola, for their third album. Most of the album was produced by Nokio and featured Sisqo, Jazz, Woody, and Scola. The single “I Should Be” was a top 10 R&B and top 30 pop hit. In early 2008, Dru Hill began touring with other 90’s artists Tony! Toni! Tone!, Bell Biv Dovoe and former producer Keith Sweat. On a radio show, Woody Rock announced that he was leaving the group and planned on focusing on a gospel ministry. Scola, who joined the group in 2001, left the group as well. Dru Hill held a contest in Baltimore to look for a replacement for Woody, and they found Antwaun “Tao” Simpson.
They signed to a new label Kedar Entertainment in 2009 after being dropped from Def Soul. The next album was released in July of 2010. InDRUpendence Day was the group's fourth album. This was the first album with Tao, who replaced Woody. Three singles were released “Love MD”, “Remain Silent”, and “Back to the Future” under the new label Kedar Entertainment.
In early 2018, Jazz left the group to work on a solo album and Tao also left the next year in 2019 for the same reason because he wasn’t happy with the group.
The Second Coming album featured two new additions to the group Smoke and Black. They came from the group Playa. This last album was released through DRU Hill, LLC and EMPIRE Distribution. Soon after Nokio decided to leave the group as well to spend more time with his family.
Dru Hill made appearances on the TV show Moesha in and The Parent’Hood in 1997. They were nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Band Group in the American Music Awards. In 1998 They won Best R&B/Soul Album and Best R&B Soul Single for “In My Bed” at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 1999 they were nominated in the Kid’s Choice Awards for Favorite Group.
Dru Hill is still performing till this day going on tour in the U.S.They also released a Christmas album in 2017.How does Dru Hill compare to some of the other 90’s R&B groups from this time? Is Dru Hill considered a legend in the R&B game? R&B will never be the same as in this 90’s era.